Ironman Lake Placid Training Week #19


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Week 19 Recap Header

Going into this week, I knew I had some big training sessions on the plan. As the training distances get longer and longer, the importance of quality sessions grows. This is true for the fitness portion of training as well as the mental portion.

I had a friend lend me a couple of DVDs of earlier broadcasts of Ironman World Championships. He has the box set that includes 10 years’ worth. I have seen them all, but I never tire of watching them. I watched two different years’ broadcasts while doing bike sessions during the week. It is a great way to pass the time while watching the sports’ best athletes take on Kona!

Monday 6/16

AM – 1 hour 45 minutes on the bike trainer with the main set focused on 6×10-minute lactate threshold efforts. This was a great session for me. I felt strong and was able to keep my heart rate within the necessary zone. I challenged myself appropriately for the session.

PM – 3100-yard swim – Lots of variation in the workout with 300s, 200s, 25s, pull buoy, slow, moderate, fast efforts…I really spent time focusing on my left arm stroke. This is the suggestion that Tim gave me during the prior day’s OWS. I could tell I was changing things because my shoulder became fatigued early. I agree with his assessment though and slight changes can result in great improvements. I felt that my timing was slightly off due to the change…albeit minor. I think a few more sessions and it will start to become more natural.

Tuesday 6/17

PM – LONG RUN DAY!!!!! This was a big session planned for me. As the long runs left in my plan are becoming fewer and fewer, I really need to get my hydration and nutrition dialed in so I can have a good game plan come race day! Since my last long run and the troubles I experienced there, I have spent a lot of time focusing on pre and post workout weight to gauge hydration levels. This has been an interesting process and Tim has aided me in the analysis. The plan for this long run was to run it on the treadmill. He has a machine where you can download various courses and the treadmill tracks the inclines/declines/flats of that course, including the IM Lake Placid run! Plus, since we are in a more controlled environment, we can adjust the hydration and nutrition on the fly, as needed.

When this day arrived, I was so thankful that we had the treadmill plan. I say that because the temperature hit 97 degrees and this was our first week of extreme heat. I would have melted if I had to run in that heat!

When I arrived at Tim’s we came up with a game plan. The original plan was for one 20-ounce bottle of water and ½ bottle of Osmo (which is my sports drink). Also, one GU Chomp every 15 minutes. In prior long runs I had been eating more and drinking less.

I got going on the treadmill and despite a few initial problems with internet connections, I was eventually able to start running the LP course about 45 minutes into my run. To my excitement, the first several miles are downhill. This will be a great way to transition from 112 miles on the bike to the run…I can’t overdo it, but having the downhill will allow me to really engage my legs and open up my stride to ease into the run.

After the first hour, I was feeling good. I had consumed 2 full bottles without forcing the second half, so we decided to go forward with two bottles/hour and continue on with the four GU Chomps I had eaten without issue. Throughout the run, I jumped off and weighed in order to track my weight and liquid consumption. We were tracking great throughout. I ended the 2 hours and 45 minutes and I was thrilled with how things had gone. I felt great, tired, of course, but great considering I had just run the longest (2 hours and 45 minutes) and furthest (17.75 miles) I had ever run. I had NO muscle cramping and NO stomach issues. This was a victorious run!

Tony and Tim "coaching"!!

Tony and Tim “coaching”!!

The run course has some definite challenges. There are a few steep climbs with the two longest being later on in the loop (the course is a two-loop course). I think having experienced the course on a treadmill has given me additional confidence since knowledge is power!

All in all, I could not have asked for a better long run. After the workout, we had a great dinner including steaks on the grill, salad and baked potato!

Many thanks to Tim for helping me with the hydration and nutrition plan and re-filling my bottles and keeping me on track to have a successful run! Thanks to Tony, Nicole and Tim for providing the entertainment during my run…I did not know a photo shoot was going to be in the mix! They made 2 hours and 45 minutes on the treadmill the best it could ever be!

The support crew!!  This will be my crew on race day!!

The support crew!! This will be my crew on race day!!

Wednesday 6/18

PM –The plan was for an open water swim. Well, I learned during the day, that the access to Falls Lake where we swim was closed due to high bacteria in the lake (YUCK!!!). I am no scientist, but it would seem that the high temperatures we have experienced and very, very warm lake conditions, may have contributed.   So, pool swim it was!

3100-yard swim – This was a good swim!! I continued to practice the change with my left arm/hand and it really started feeling more natural during this workout. I was really pleased with most of my times and I think this slight tweak will improve my efficiency! The swim included 600, 300, 200 and 100 sets. All were at a moderate to moderate plus level, except that six 100s that I ended with were “building” efforts. My main set of 2400 yards averaged 1:52 pace.

Thursday 6/19

AM – 1 hour 15 minutes on the bike trainer with the main set focused on strength; so, low cadence and big gear. My legs felt pretty good and actually as I progressed more into the workout, my heart rate was lower and able to easier to keep it I the prescribed zone.

PM – 60-minute steady run – I was not sure how this run would go. I had a good long run on Tuesday and had not experienced too much soreness since then, but with this run being a goal of 30 seconds faster than race pace, I did not know what would transpire. I went in with the mindset that I would give it my all, but not push too much. I did have a very long bike on Saturday and did not want to leave everything on the treadmill! It ended up being a good run. I held pace and was comfortable in my groove. I was pleased how the session went and looked forward to my rest day!

Friday 6/20 REST DAY! WOO HOO!!!

Saturday 6/21

Long ride on the plan. Six hours total. Once again, I had two routes as the game plan in order to have company on my ride. The first route was a new route that Tony planned. Most all the roads I had ridden on bunches, but the particular route was new. I had two friends join for the route one, which was planned for 66 miles. The weather had been hot all week, so I was pleased when the forecast showed an eight or nine degree drop in temperature. We were fortunate to have mainly overcast skies for this first part of the ride. At one point we thought we might get rained on, but it ended up being only a couple of drops. After finishing up the first route, I swung by the house and Tony joined for the remainder of the ride. We rode the typical “part two” route. By this time, the sun was out. I continued to focus on drinking and eating, as I had earlier as well.

I pushed a little bit harder on this six hour ride. Nothing crazy, but my average speed crept up a bit. I still felt pretty good at the end. I was definitely tired, but stomach felt normal, so I think I did good nutrition and hydration wise, as well as, targeting my effort.

Want to know the best part of the ride (besides the shower after)? The best part was that I hit the century milestone. When my Garmin hit 100 miles, I had to shout to out! That was a very exciting moment for me!

106 miles blog

Big smiles after the ride!

Big smiles after the ride!



Sunday 6/22

With a couple of training sessions planned for the afternoon, I enjoyed a leisurely morning…did not sleep in like I planned (not my fault), but still enjoyed breakfast and coffee. I love these type mornings and don’t get to experience them very often. The day did eventually get started and it seemed to start getting away from me quickly. After a light lunch, I realized that I was very tired. With speed work planned, as well as, an open water swim, I decided to get in a quick nap. This was the smart decision, since I slept hard (obviously needed).  After the nap, I had to quickly get started on the run so I could make it out in time to meet the group for an open water swim.

Run – 65-minutes on the treadmill with the main set focused on speed (plan). I had 4×10-minute speed intervals to run. I hit the first interval. During the second, I quickly recognized that I really did not have a lot in my legs. I guess I was feeling the effects of Saturday’s long ride. I continued to do what I could and even though I had to decrease my pace, I finished up the second. During the third, I stopped a couple of times and when I did so, I paused my Garmin. I think I have it set to auto-pause, but could not remember for sure. One of the times I stopped, I forgot to start it back again. I had to guess on time and I think I got the third 10-minute interval done (slower). I started the fourth and just did not have anything left it the tank. I thought of my swim and really wanted to have something to give, so I called it done. My treadmill time totaled 44 minutes (10 of which was my warm-up).

Swim – I went to meet the swim group at Falls Lake and only one other swimmer showed up. We were fortunate that a kayaker did as well. I was able to get in an hour swim at 1.66 miles. Fortunately, the water was not as warm as the prior weekend. The swim out was good and smooth but the swim back had us going head on into the current. Not fun! All in all, I was happy with my swim though!

Totals: All of these are new personal totals for weekly volume (except the swim where I have had a couple of weeks with just a bit longer distance).

Time:   17 hours 24 minutes

Swim: 9,121 yards

Bike: 142 miles

Run: 30.3 miles

Stretching/foam rolling: Did OK

Harder the Struggle

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